Frankel, Policy Committee explore Affordable Care Act repeal

(Mar 29, 2017)

PITTSBURGH, March 29 – State Rep. Dan Frankel, D-Pittsburgh, hosted a House Democratic Policy Committee hearing today at the Jewish Healthcare Foundation that explored the implications of repealing the Affordable Care Act and Medicaid expansion. “I was honored to host the House Policy Committee and several panels of experts to testify about the successes of the Affordable Care Act and the devastating consequences to Pennsylvanians should a repeal continue to be pursued,” Frankel said. “The testimony provided gave us our clearest look yet at the wide-reaching and life-saving benefits of the Affordable Care Act. A wholesale repeal would cause irreparable harm to both the 1.1 million Pennsylvanians already insured as a result of the ACA and to the financial health of the commonwealth. With repeal looking less likely, our efforts should now turn to improving the ACA by restoring risk corridor and reinsurance programs that incentivize health insurers to participate in the exchanges without bearing the full financial burden of adverse selection, by requiring all insurers who want to sell in the individual markets to offer their plans through the exchanges, and by exploring the public option. Any one of these changes will increase the participation of insurers and stabilize premium costs across the health insurance market.” Policy Committee Chairman Mike Sturla, D-Lancaster, added: “The reality is that the repeal of the ACA is a devastating Read more

 

Rep. Frankel to host Policy hearing on Affordable Care Act/Medicaid Expansion Repeal Wednesday in Pittsburgh

(Mar 27, 2017)

HARRISBURG, March 27 – State Rep. Dan Frankel, D-Pittsburgh, announced today that he will host a House Democratic Policy Committee to discuss impacts of a possible repeal of the Affordable Care Act and Medicaid Expansion. The hearing will be held at 10 a.m. Wednesday, March 29 at the Jewish Healthcare Foundation, QiT Center, 26 th Floor, Centre City Tower, 650 Smithfield St., Pittsburgh. The current hearing agenda is: 10 a.m. Welcome and opening remarks 10:10 a.m. Panel One: Leesa Allen , deputy secretary for Medical Assistance programs, Pennsylvania Department of Human Services Dr. Loren Robinson , deputy secretary for health promotion and disease prevention, Pennsylvania Department of Health Jessica Altman , chief of staff, Pennsylvania Insurance Department 11 a.m. Panel Two: Erika Fricke , health policy director, Allies for Children B.J. Leber , president and CEO, Adagio Health Susan Friedberg Kalson , CEO, Squirrel Hill Health Center Carmen Alexander , senior operations manager, New Voices Pittsburgh 11:50 a.m. Panel Three: Cassie Narkevic , health insurance enrollment counselor, Consumer Health Coalition Kristy Trautman , executive director, FISA Foundation AJ Harper , president, Healthcare Council of Western Pennsylvania 12:30 p.m. Panel Four: Christie Hudson, clinical social work/therapist Dr. Liz Cuevas , internist, AGH Internal Read more

 

Frankel: Whatever happens today, Trumpcare would be terrible for Pa.

(Mar 24, 2017)

HARRISBURG, March 24 – House Democratic Caucus Chairman Dan Frankel, D-Allegheny, provided the following statement about the Republican "Trumpcare" bill that was expected to get a U.S. House vote today: "Whatever happens today with the Trumpcare bill, we already know what a disaster it would be for Pennsylvania. Statewide, 1.1 million people would lose their health coverage, and others would pay much higher costs for essential benefits like maternity care. If you vote for that, it's time to stop calling yourself 'pro-life.' "Republicans have had seven years to come up with something better than the Affordable Care Act. If they were as serious about health care as they are about more tax breaks for the wealthy, they would work with Democrats to make improvements to the Affordable Care Act, such as a public option that would provide more choice and competition to rein in costs for patients." Frankel provided these facts on gains from the Affordable Care Act that are at risk from the Republican health care bill: 715,000 people gained coverage through the ACA's Medicaid expansion, including almost 60,000 people in Allegheny County. Pennsylvania currently has the lowest uninsured rate in the state's history - 6.4 percent overall and a 4.1 percent uninsured rate for children. 124,000 people with a substance-use disorder were able to gain access to drug and alcohol services. Importantly for jobs in the Pittsburgh Read more

 

Frankel condemns recent acts of terror against Jewish community

(Feb 28, 2017)

PITTSBURGH, Feb. 28 – State Rep. Dan Frankel, D-Allegheny, released the following statement today in regard to the recent acts of vandalism and terroristic threats made against Jewish institutions: "In the strongest possible way, I condemn these cowardly and hateful acts of terrorism aimed at Jewish cemeteries and Jewish Community Centers. These kinds of actions have one despicable purpose: to spread fear throughout our communities. "We’ve had enough. "Let me be clear: hatred of this kind has no place in Pittsburgh, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, or anywhere else in the world. Just yesterday, there were reportedly more than 90 anti-Semitic threats or acts of aggression reported across the country. While there’s no doubt that these acts have been committed by a small minority of people, it does not change the fact that we must speak up against this kind of intolerance and fear-mongering. "In the very near future, I plan to sponsor a resolution with my Jewish colleagues in the General Assembly condemning these acts of vandalism and terror. It is my hope that this resolution will run in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives when we return to session in March. "In the meantime, I am confident that the dedicated men and women in law enforcement will soon bring those responsible to justice." ### Read more

 

Frankel: Trump breaks promise to protect LGBT Americans

(Feb 23, 2017)

PITTSBURGH, Feb. 23 – State Rep. Dan Frankel, D-Allegheny, co-chairman of the legislature's LGBT Equality Caucus, said President Donald Trump has broken his promise to protect LGBT Americans. "By revoking the Obama guidelines that gave transgender students equal access to restrooms and locker rooms at school, President Trump has broken his promise to protect LGBT Americans. And he's done it in the worst way – abandoning vulnerable children to little or no protection in many states and school districts. It's shameful," Frankel said. "With this action, the Trump administration has given the clearest indication yet that it puts misguided ideology before the safety, health and welfare of LGBT students. President Trump, Education Secretary DeVos and Attorney General Sessions should be ashamed of abandoning transgender children across the country. "By punting this issue to the states, the Trump administration is picking winners and losers – some states will quickly pass laws to protect transgender students while other states will do nothing. 'States' rights' hasn't worked for African Americans denied basic civil rights, including equal restroom access, and it won't work for protecting transgender kids, either. "In her confirmation hearings before the Senate, Secretary DeVos said that a student’s zip code should not affect his or her educational opportunities. Unfortunately, with this shameful Read more

 

Frankel encouraged by Wolf's bold budget proposal

(Feb 07, 2017)

HARRISBURG, Feb. 7 – House Democratic Caucus Chairman Dan Frankel, D-Allegheny, provided the following statement about the budget proposal Gov. Tom Wolf released today: "Governor Wolf has put forth a bold budget proposal that will address the historic $3 billion structural deficit we’re facing,” Frankel said. “I am reviewing this plan carefully, and so far, I’m encouraged by the governor’s strong commitment to increased education funding, enhanced drug treatment proposals and a call for reasonable revenue generators, including a severance tax on natural gas drilling, raising the minimum wage to $12 an hour, and requiring municipalities that receive State Police protection to pay a fair share for that service. "It's very reasonable to ask businesses to pay their fair share by closing certain corporate tax loopholes. Doing this would also allow us to achieve the education funding restorations and increases Governor Wolf is proposing, such as $200 million more for K-12 basic education, including $25 million for special education and $75 million for early childhood programs; as well as a $2 million increase for healthy school breakfast programs to help kids focus on learning. I'm also pleased that Governor Wolf is calling for $10 million more to fight the opioid and heroin crisis, including expanding access to naloxone, and for new money to expand specialty drug courts. Governor Wolf is making a serious effort to work Read more

 

Frankel expresses concern over U.S. Supreme Court nominee

(Feb 01, 2017)

PITTSBURGH, Feb. 1 – State Rep. Dan Frankel, D-Allegheny, expressed concern over President Donald Trump’s nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch to the U.S. Supreme Court. "Many of Judge Gorsuch’s past decisions and statements are cause for concern," Frankel said. "He has repeatedly argued against separation of church and state. His ruling that a private company should be exempt from a law requiring employers to provide coverage for oral contraceptives because of religious beliefs not only threatens this longstanding principle, but also endangers women’s health. "Judge Gorsuch has also demonstrated on several occasions a willingness to protect corporations over people and to allow courts to override federal agency experts in deciding how to enforce laws. It is disheartening that U.S. Senate Republicans refused even to hold a hearing on President Obama’s nomination of Judge Merrick Garland. I urge all members of the Senate to carefully consider Judge Gorsuch’s history and take it into account when casting their votes." ### Read more

 

Frankel speaks out against President Trump’s refugee ban

(Jan 30, 2017)

HARRISBURG, Jan. 30 – State Rep. Dan Frankel, D-Allegheny, spoke out against President Donald Trump’s recent executive order that bans citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States for the next 90 days, suspends the admission of all refugees for 120 days and indefinitely prevents Syrians from entering the country as refugees. “President Trump’s order to block entry of immigrants and refugees is simply unacceptable,” Frankel said Monday. “We are a diverse nation that is made great by the contributions of immigrants, including those who seek refuge here. The United States has a proud history of welcoming immigrants who are searching for a better life for themselves and their families. Nothing about this executive order will keep America safe. In fact, counterterrorism experts say the immigration ban could make us less safe by playing into the belief - of terror groups such as ISIS - that the West is at war with Islam. It could also make it more difficult for the U.S. to cooperate with the countries targeted in the ban." “I am moved and encouraged by the thousands who took part in protests around the country against Trump’s executive order, including at least 300 protestors who gathered at Pittsburgh International Airport,” Frankel added. “It is my hope that the federal court system will overturn this immigration ban that runs counter to the principles upon which America Read more

 

"Before it's too late": Frankel says state needs commission to study Pa. effects of health-care repeal

(Jan 05, 2017)

HARRISBURG, Jan. 5 – House Democratic Caucus Chairman Dan Frankel, D-Allegheny, plans to introduce legislation establishing a bipartisan commission to study the impact of federal repeal of the Affordable Care Act on Pennsylvania residents. "Repealing the Affordable Care Act would not only put at risk the health care coverage of millions of Pennsylvanians, but also devastate our state’s finances. Pennsylvania has saved about $700 million a year from the law’s drug rebates, increased funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program and closing of the Medicare Part D prescription-drug benefit 'donut hole.' Without the Affordable Care Act, Pennsylvania taxpayers would need to come up with this funding from somewhere else – at a time when we already face large, unsustainable budget shortfalls," Frankel said. "We also know the law has had many other benefits for Pennsylvanians, and we need to know what the impact would be if a new president and Congress take them away. These gains that are at risk include: enabling young people to stay on their parents' plans until age 26; free preventive care; federally funded Medicaid expansion that has helped to cover roughly 600,000 Pennsylvanians; banning insurance companies from denying coverage due to pre-existing conditions; and banning annual and lifetime limits on care. Losing any of these protections – let alone all of them – would have a major impact on Read more

 

Frankel sworn in for 10th term; 4th term in leadership

(Jan 03, 2017)

HARRISBURG, Jan. 3 – State Rep. Dan Frankel, D-Allegheny, was sworn in today for a 10th term representing Pittsburgh's 23rd Legislative District. He is also serving for a fourth term as Democratic caucus chairman, the third-highest ranking member of the caucus leadership. "We have important work to do on behalf of Pennsylvanians, including passage of a state budget that continues to adequately fund education and vital human services, while also responsibly addressing our structural deficit. I will also focus on priorities such as reintroducing the bipartisan Pennsylvania Fairness Act to protect LGBT residents from discrimination, the Patient Trust Act to take politics out of health care, and legislation banning surprise health-care fees such as 'facility fees,'" Frankel said. "Pennsylvanians expect their legislators to work with Governor Tom Wolf to achieve positive change and solve problems, not to oppose him out of reflexive partisanship." Frankel was first elected to the House in 1998. He previously served as chairman of the Allegheny County Democratic Delegation. As a legislator, he has championed numerous initiatives, such as increased funding for mass transit, community and economic development in Pittsburgh and other cities, public education, biomedical research and expanded access to health care, as well as improving gun safety and fighting discrimination. He continues to co-chair the Women's Health Caucus, the LGBT Read more

 

Frankel backing National Popular Vote bill in Pa.

(Dec 16, 2016)

House Democratic Caucus Chairman Dan Frankel, D-Allegheny, will again co-sponsor the National Popular Vote bill in Pennsylvania. The bill would commit Pennsylvania's presidential electors to the candidate who wins the most popular votes in the 50 states and the District of Columbia. Read more

 

Frankel welcomes Wolf signature on pro-Israel law

(Nov 04, 2016)

HARRISBURG, Nov. 4 – State Rep. Dan Frankel, D-Allegheny, welcomed Gov. Tom Wolf's signing into law of legislation that will bar Pennsylvania from contracting with companies that boycott Israel. "Israel is a democracy and a steadfast ally of the United States in a region where it can be difficult and even dangerous to be either, and this has been the case for nearly 70 years. Of course Pennsylvanians and Americans have diverse opinions on particular decisions of any Israeli government of the time, but as a society the vast majority of us do not want our tax dollars used against the economy of our fellow democracy and ally," Frankel said. House Bill 2107 will ban the state from contracting with a company to acquire or dispose of supplies, services or construction unless the company certifies that: it is not engaged in a boycott of persons or entities based in or doing business with a jurisdiction with which federal law allows the state to engage in free trade or commerce; and it will not engage in such a boycott for the duration of the contract. Frankel said that in the current environment, the new law will mostly affect boycotts and threats of boycotts against Israel. He noted that the new legislation specifically states, "Israel is America's dependable, democratic ally in the Middle East, an area of paramount strategic importance to the United States. It is in the interest of the United States and the Commonwealth to stand with Read more

 

Frankel hails Pa. Supreme Court ruling against gag rule on fracking chemicals

(Sep 28, 2016)

HARRISBURG, Sept. 28 – State Rep. Dan Frankel, D-Allegheny, praised today's state Supreme Court decision striking down the "gag rule" portion of a law that many doctors feared would limit their ability to discuss with their patients the chemicals involved in natural gas fracking. "The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has protected patients and doctors by striking down the gag rule in Act 13 of 2012," said Frankel, the prime sponsor of a bill to repeal that portion of the law . "Patients trust that their doctor is telling them the truth, the whole truth, and that their health is the doctor’s primary concern. We should protect that trust. Patients shouldn’t worry that they are on the receiving end of a political agenda when they go to the doctor," Frankel said. "And doctors and nurses shouldn’t have to choose between caring for their patients, or following a law that would have forced them to practice bad medicine." Frankel also introduced a broader bill aimed at keeping politics out of the provider-patient relationship. House Bill 1105 , known as the Patient Trust Act, would prohibit government entities from requiring providers to care for patients in a way that is not considered medically appropriate or forcing providers to tell patients anything that is not medically accurate. ### Read more

 

Frankel: As Pa. faces opioid crisis and $730 million in unfinished budget work, state Senate GOP focusing on … guns and abortion

(Sep 27, 2016)

HARRISBURG, Sept. 27 – House Democratic Caucus Chairman Dan Frankel, D-Allegheny, labeled the state Senate's Republican majority "shockingly out of touch" for spending time on far-right gun and abortion bills when the legislature needs to act on the heroin and opioid crisis and $730 million in unfinished state budget business. "The heroin and opioid crisis is devastating families and communities across the state. Just today, we learned that the rate of babies born with drug addiction issues in Pennsylvania has shot up about 250 percent from 2000 to 2015. And last week, state police said a Johnstown police officer had an opioid overdose and had to be revived with naloxone -- while on duty . This is a widespread, urgent problem and the legislature has to do more this fall to address it," Frankel said. "In addition, the legislature still has $730 million in unfinished state budget business to handle this fall . The state Senate's Republican majority is shockingly out of touch in choosing to spend time on what would be the nation's strictest abortion ban and a bill to force taxpayers to fund NRA lawsuits against local gun-safety laws. "State Senate Republicans are providing great examples of why people are fed up with Harrisburg." ### Read more

 

Frankel pleased budget deal closes most Pa. tobacco tax loopholes

(Jul 13, 2016)

HARRISBURG, July 13 – House Democratic Caucus Chairman Dan Frankel, D-Allegheny, said the budget package the legislature is completing today finally closes most of Pennsylvania's tobacco tax loopholes, a change Frankel has long advocated. "I'm glad we are finally closing the tobacco tax loophole for nearly all tobacco products except for cigars, although I would have preferred that we go with experts' recommendations to tax tobacco by price rather than weight. It is the best we could do under the current composition of the legislature. Even so, ending these exemptions is a major step forward for public health and for tax fairness," Frankel said. "Studies have shown that higher prices for tobacco products discourage young people from using them and getting hooked into a longtime addiction, and closing these loopholes avoids putting more of the tax burden on other taxpayers. "The revenue bill that closes the tobacco loopholes is the largest piece of finishing the budget. Another prolonged budget process like last year's would benefit no one. This budget agreement gets us on the road to restoring more of the Corbett-Republican cuts to education and human services, and Democrats look forward to restoring more of those cuts as the Wolf administration continues," Frankel said. The revenue bill (H.B. 1198) passed the House and Senate today, and now goes to Gov. Tom Wolf, who said he will sign it into law. ### Read more

 

Frankel: $100,000 state grant will help complete Frick Environmental Center

(Jul 01, 2016)

HARRISBURG, July 1 – State Rep. Dan Frankel, D-Allegheny, today announced approval of a $100,000 state grant he sought to help complete the Frick Environmental Center . "I'm proud to help secure funding for this center, which will be both a welcome facility and a gateway to Frick Park that will help learners use the park as a classroom," Frankel said. The project is a partnership between the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy and the city of Pittsburgh. According to the conservancy, the center was designed with input from more than 1,000 residents and stakeholders at a series of public meetings, and it will: Use 40 percent less energy than a typical building of its size in the Northeast; Power all electrical systems using energy generated from solar panels; Filter and treat all wastewater before releasing it naturally on site; Be constructed using materials that are produced locally whenever possible and safe for both humans and the environment; and Balance a spirit that promotes appreciation and protection of the environment and a public space that is functional and welcoming. The center will be the first municipal-owned Living Building Challenge-certified structure in the world. The conservancy will manage the facility and ensure that best management practices (BMPs) for energy efficiency and green infrastructure are used, to serve as a model. In all, there will be more than 20 green infrastructure BMPs on site, including the solar Read more

 

Frankel Fights For Women's Rights

(Jun 30, 2016)

Pa. state Rep. Dan Frankel and members of the legislature's Women's Health Caucus today called for Pennsylvania to repeal a strict abortion law to comply with a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision and to put women's health first. Read more

 

Frankel, Schwank praise Supreme Court decision on Texas anti-abortion law

(Jun 27, 2016)

HARRISBURG, June 27 – Two co-chairs of the legislature's Women's Health Caucus praised today's U.S. Supreme Court decision striking down a Texas abortion law that caused all but a few clinics there to close. The number of clinics in Pennsylvania also dropped after a more limited version of the stricken law was enacted here in 2011. State Rep. Dan Frankel, D-Allegheny, said: "Today’s 5-3 decision by the Supreme Court clearly exposes the sham arguments made by abortion opponents that restricting access to safe, legal abortion is somehow in the best interest of women and their health. "The motivation for these draconian legislative proposals – requiring hospital admitting privileges for abortion providers and requiring expensive construction overhauls of abortion facilities – has been clear to many of us for a long time," said Frankel, the WHC House Democratic chair. This should also put the brakes on Pennsylvania efforts to pass additional abortion restrictions . It’s great to see the United States Supreme Court strike down the terrible law in Texas." Sen. Judy Schwank, D-Berks, said: "Today's ruling is an important victory for a woman's constitutional right to make her reproductive decisions. It reinforces very clearly that government cannot burden this right simply by claiming it is protecting women's health. "Those who want to restrict reproductive rights now know for sure that they Read more

 

Frankel, Sims hail bipartisan Pa. Senate action on nondiscrimination bill

(Jun 22, 2016)

State Reps. Dan Frankel, D-Allegheny, and Brian Sims, D-Phila., praised today's bipartisan, historic state Senate committee vote that sent a nondiscrimination bill to the full Senate. Read more

 

Frankel: Stop Discrimination Against LGBT Community

(Jun 22, 2016)

Pa. state Rep. Dan Frankel stands with Gov. Tom Wolf and other advocates to call on the legislature to pass equal protections for LGBT citizens. In Pennsylvania, members of the LGBT community can still be denied employment, housing, and other basic rights afforded to others in the general population. Frankel is co-sponsoring the Pennsylvania Fairness Act, H.B. 1510, which would update Pennsylvania’s nondiscrimination law to ensure all residents have equal rights regardless of race, color, religion, ancestry, age, sex, national origin, disability and now, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression. Read more

 

Frankel, Policy Committee explore Affordable Care Act repeal
Mar 29, 2017

Rep. Frankel to host Policy hearing on Affordable Care Act/Medicaid Expansion Repeal Wednesday in Pittsburgh
Mar 27, 2017

Frankel: Whatever happens today, Trumpcare would be terrible for Pa.
Mar 24, 2017

Frankel condemns recent acts of terror against Jewish community
Feb 28, 2017

Frankel: Trump breaks promise to protect LGBT Americans
Feb 23, 2017

Frankel encouraged by Wolf's bold budget proposal
Feb 07, 2017

Frankel expresses concern over U.S. Supreme Court nominee
Feb 01, 2017

Frankel speaks out against President Trump’s refugee ban
Jan 30, 2017

"Before it's too late": Frankel says state needs commission to study Pa. effects of health-care repeal
Jan 05, 2017

Frankel sworn in for 10th term; 4th term in leadership
Jan 03, 2017

Frankel backing National Popular Vote bill in Pa.
Dec 16, 2016

Frankel welcomes Wolf signature on pro-Israel law
Nov 04, 2016

Frankel hails Pa. Supreme Court ruling against gag rule on fracking chemicals
Sep 28, 2016

Frankel: As Pa. faces opioid crisis and $730 million in unfinished budget work, state Senate GOP focusing on … guns and abortion
Sep 27, 2016

Frankel pleased budget deal closes most Pa. tobacco tax loopholes
Jul 13, 2016

Frankel: $100,000 state grant will help complete Frick Environmental Center
Jul 01, 2016

Frankel Fights For Women's Rights
Jun 30, 2016

Frankel, Schwank praise Supreme Court decision on Texas anti-abortion law
Jun 27, 2016

Frankel, Sims hail bipartisan Pa. Senate action on nondiscrimination bill
Jun 22, 2016

Frankel: Stop Discrimination Against LGBT Community
Jun 22, 2016